Wed 22nd
John Constable,
aka John Crow,
speaks on Poetry, Theatre,
and Magic

I live and work at the nexus of Poetry, Theatre and Magic.’ (John Constable)

John Constable aka John Crow is a poet, playwright, performer and urban shaman. In this talk he explores the origins and the unfolding of his magical practice, including:

  • The 1970s: teenage psychedelic initiations, spiritual quests in Japan, Bali and India. Influences: Taliesin, Blake, Huxley, Castenada, The Gnostics, Gurdjieff, The Emin, Zen

  • How to integrate visionary experiences and diverse spiritual traditions in our daily lives

  • The 1980s: touring Europe with street theatre companies, writing plays and the stage adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels

  • How Theatre and poetry express shamanic experiences in ‘de-natured’ Western cultures. How Western ‘shamanism’ is inherently transgressive, and how John’s own ‘outsider’ Goose and Crow magic celebrates human flaws and imperfections

  • The 1990s: The Goose Spirit reveals The Southwark Mysteries to John Crow

  • How The Goose is a channel for the Divine Feminine, revealed in Her distinct aspects as Isis, Mary Magdalene, Kwan Yin

  • The 2000s: The Southwark Mysteries performed in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral. Ritual dramas at The Warp parties, festivals and sites specific. Goose and Crow street magic at Cross Bones Graveyard, with rituals and vigils to reclaim the site as holy ground, creating a shrine and a garden of remembrance for sex workers and outcasts

  • The Now: Grail book interweaves spells, legends and vignettes of contemporary Glastonbury life, working with The Goose and Crow, with the Ancestors and the native spirits of place

John draws on his work over more than 25 years as a theatre-maker and magical practitioner to explore and illuminate the esoteric teachings and practices of his Goose and Crow Magic:

  • A vision of the One Made Many, a unified consciousness revealed in multiple names and forms, and how each expression of Mind (No Mind) plays its unique part in the whole

  • ‘Healing rifts between our hemispheres’, between Mind and Matter, Light and Darkness. The Goose is the Spirit revealed in the Flesh, the Sacred in the Profane, Eternity in Time: ‘to heal the wounds of history’. Physical, sexual, psychic, energetic and spiritual healing and transformation

  • Opening the pathways (neural and material) to enable all beings ‘to complete their individual journeys and to fulfil their most intimate aspirations’

  • Cultivating states of ‘shining emptiness’ to become a channel for transpersonal entities and agencies. How this practice can help us to ‘get out of the way’ and set us free from fear, by showing how the Self is itself a narrative construct. The key to psychic protection

  • Embodying the state of ‘Liberty’, the presence of the Unconditioned Mind in which contrary and even contradictory ideas can co-exist in a dynamic, creative harmony. This is the antidote to the modern obsession with being ‘right’ and proving others ‘wrong’, and is in itself an essential element of psychic integration

  • Reconciling opposites, by seeing how each helps maintain the dynamic balance of existence – how, for example Christian and Pagan agencies can be seen to operate at different levels for the benefit of an Eternity vast, capacious and empty enough to contain them all

  • Shape-shifting, channelling and other techniques to ‘re-pattern’ reality, to change our maps and models of the world. Creating new boundaries and rules so as to dissolve old patterns. Ritual as a way of shifting our focus on what is important and significant in our lives

  • The Poetic Vision and how it can set us free from the mind-prisons of literalism. How poetry, music and drama can point beyond words and be used to invoke psychoactive states

  • The apocalypse is not waiting for us in some uncertain future. It’s happening here, now, all around us. Our work is to realise and manifest it in this life and this world.

  • ‘For everything that lives is Holy’ (William Blake)

John will illustrate his talk with short magical invocations and incantations, to show how words can operate beyond rational structures to change the ways we perceive and co-create our ‘reality’.

John Constable’s many plays includes Gormenghast (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and international tours), The Southwark Mysteries (Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral), I Was An Alien Sex God (Edinburgh Festival and BAC) and Spare (inspired by the works of Austin Osman Spare). His published works include Sha-Manic Plays, The Southwark Mysteries, Gormenghast, Secret Bankside and Spark In The Dark. His new book Grail interweaves myths and poetic spells with vignettes of contemporary life in Glastonbury. On his album Ancestor Souls he performs his mystical incantations to music by Jenny Bliss Bennett and William Kraemer (Queen Space Baroque). As the shaman John Crow he recently completed a 23-year cycle of magical works at south London’s Cross Bones Graveyard, conducting monthly rituals and creating a shrine and garden for sex workers and outcasts. An invited speaker at Breaking Convention, The Occult Conference and many esoteric conventions, he has held ceremonies at festivals and sacred sites around the world. He now lives in Glastonbury with his wife and co-practitioner Katy Kaos.

Abbey House, Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury.
Parking: We would be grateful if you could please park in town and walk the short distance, if you are able to. The Abbey House car park is for Abbey staff and cannot easily accomodate large events. The turning in and out of the car park is sharp and could be dangerous, particularly in low light or wet conditions.
Doors open at 6.30pm for start at 7pm.
£8.00  It helps us if you could kindly bring the correct change, if possible.

Advance tickets are available from Man, Myth, & Magik, Market Place, Glastonbury.

This is the shop directly next door to the main entrance to Glastonbury Abbey.

Cash only please (keeping cash flow (non-digital) in our town).

Opening times are Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 11am – 4pm.
There will also be tickets on the door, subject to availability.


Cover photo by Max Crow Reeves:
John Crow conducts the closing ritual of The Halloween of Cross Bones, 31st October 2016.

We would like to do our upmost to be attentive to the needs of everyone attending our talks, including those who have delicate immune systems. If you have a cough, cold, or are unwell with any type of virus, please come along on another occasion when you are fully recovered. If this means that you will miss a talk that you are particularly keen on attending, please contact us in advance so that we can explore what we can do to assist.

We are sorry, but due to space constraints, at this time we cannot accommodate dogs at the venue.

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